Tributes flow to man dies in Tongatapu crash after experiencing medical episode

A 39-year-old man died after crashing his vehicle into another vehicle in Nuku’alofa on Monday morning, police said.

Lītili Kaufusi from Haveluloto, who was working for the Ministry of Health, was picking up a guest from the Nuku’alofa Hotel in central Nuku’alofa.

Litili Kaufusi

They were heading South on Taufa’ahau Road just passed the Basilica of St Anthony Padua when they unexpectedly hit another vehicle that was in front of them.

“The passenger noticed at this time that the driver’s body stiffened, causing him to step on the gas pedal and accelerate to a speed of 70 km per hour”, the police said.

“This caused the vehicle to climb on top of the runabout at the intersection of Taufa’ahau and Mateialona Roads and it swerved to the left side of the road where it scraped the back of two vehicles at the Lulutai Airline parking lot before it ran over a vendor tent next door then crashed onto an olive tree.

The deceased was rushed to the Vaiola hospital where he later passed away at around 10.40 am on the same morning.

“The doctor’s report is still pending, but it is believed that the driver’s health condition caused him to lose control of the vehicle, leading to the accident”, a Police statement said.

“This is the fifth road death in the Kingdom so far this year. Police are urging drivers to be aware of their health conditions and to pull over if they feel unwell while driving. They are also reminding drivers to obey the speed limit and to be careful when changing lanes”.

Mourners  took to Facebook to offer tributes to Kaufusi.

“Fly high, I wish I could talk to you one more time. Life is so unfair, but you will forever live in our hearts,” read one message written by one of his USP university classmates.

“Fly high Litili you’ll always be in our thoughts and prayers.”

“We lost a beloved friend, brother, and son in a tragic accident yesterday,” it said.

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